KV News

Two day National Conference on apple starts in Shopian

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Srinagar: A national-level conference on apples has started in south Kashmir’s Shopian district to find out ways for redressal of the problems faced by the fruit industry.

The conference is being organised by the Apple Farmers’ Federation of India (AFFI) in collaboration with Jammu and Kashmir Kisaan Tehreek.

Organizers said that hundreds of delegates from J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have been participating in the conference that will end tomorrow.

They said the main focus and slogan of the conference is “Save Apple Farmers, Save Apple Economy”.

“The apple farmers across India have been facing different challenges and problems but such problems have increased in the last few years. Last year, apples were sold at very cheap rates due to the import of apples from Iran thereby affecting lakhs of families. Now, the government has reduced 20 percent of import tax on Washington apples which has exacerbated the situation,” they said.

The speakers on the occasion demanded that the government must ban import of apples so as to save the industry.

They said the input costs are on the rise with each passing year but the output is on the decline which has been worrying for the people associated with the fruit.

The conference is to discuss all these issues and find out the solution so that the farmers won’t have to suffer anymore, they said.

President All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) Ashok Dhawale and senior CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami  besides other leaders of AFFI were present on the Occasion.

They pressed for unity of the farmers so that genuine issues will be taken with concerned quarters for redressal.

They demanded a separate insurance scheme for farmers of J&K and farmers must get good rates so that this industry won’t collapse.

They also demanded loans of the farmers must be waived off as soon as possible.

They also said that they will take every step to get genuine demands of farmers redressed.

The organizers said the Shopian district has been chosen for the conference as this is one of the leading apple-producing districts in the whole of India.

According to official horticulture records, a staggering 26,000 hectares of land are dedicated to apple cultivation in this region. The fertile lands of Shopian nurture a diverse range of apple varieties, including the Red Delicious, Golden, American, White Dotted Red, and Gala, among others.

Shopian witnessed a remarkable apple production of 3.6 lakh metric tonnes (MTs) in the previous year – 2022. However, the current year’s forecast predicts a tentative production of 3 million metric tones. (KNO)

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